Blue Jay Circular Yoke Sweater

17 August 2022
Photo of Nicky Jensen
By Nicky Jensen
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This design is an homage to the beauty that is hidden in plain sight surrounding my home in southern Ontario. Spending more time at home, I’ve had a chance to observe the astounding amount of nature that is present even in our suburbs and cities. My dad hung a bird feeder outside my window that I can see from the sofa where I often sit and knit. I was awestruck by the number of unique species that visited, and how the “regular customers” would change throughout the seasons. The Blue Jay is one that can’t be missed—its vivid colour and loud squawk are unmistakable, and they come around all winter long, brightening even the dullest days.

Blue Jay is worked from the top down, seamless, in the round. Stitches are cast on for the collar and German short rows are used for shaping the back neck. Increases are worked simultaneously with the colourwork chart for the yoke. The sleeve stitches are put on hold and the body continues in the round with instructions for optional shaping for the waist and hips. The sleeves are picked up and worked in the round. Colourwork detail is then added to the back forearm of one sleeve using duplicate stitch.

Image description: white woman with blond hair stands in snowy area wearing circular yoke colourwork sweater in shades of blue with white accents.
Image description: white woman with blond hair on sunny day wearing circular yoke colourwork sweater in shades of blue with white accents.

Sizes & Finished Measurements

1 (2, 3, 4)(5, 6, 7)(8, 9)

Finished Chest Circumference: 78 (89, 99.5, 109.5)(120, 130.5, 140.5)(151.5, 160) cm/31.25 (35.5, 39.75, 43.75)(48, 52.25, 56.25)(60.5, 64) inches.
Total length from shoulder: 53 (54, 55, 55.5)(56.5, 57.5, 58)(59, 60) cm/21.25 (21.5, 22, 22.25)(22.5, 23, 23.25)(23.5, 24) inches.

Shown on a model with 86 cm/34 inch upper chest measurement, with 15 cm/6 inches of positive ease.


23 sts & 29 rounds = 10 cm/4 inches on 4.5mm/US #7 needles in stranded colourwork in the round. 22 sts & 29 rounds = 10 cm/4 inches on 4mm/US #6 needles in stockinette in the round.
Note that the pattern uses a lighter worsted/DK weight yarn.



MC: Cascade 220 Superwash Merino (100% superwash merino wool; 200 m/220 yd per 100 g): 4 (5, 5, 6)(6, 7, 7)(8, 9) skeins; about 751 (842, 941, 1036)(1132, 1251, 1363)(1476, 1602) m / 826 (926, 1036, 1140)(1246, 1376, 1499)(1624, 1763) yd. Shown in 28 “Black.”

CCA: Knitting Fever Painted Sky (100% superwash wool; 200 m/218 yd per 100 g): 1 (1, 1, 1)(1, 1, 2)(2, 2) skeins; about 120 (134, 150, 165)(180, 199, 217)(235, 255) m / 130 (146, 164, 180)(197, 217, 237)(256, 278) yd. Shown in 308 “Santorini.”

CCB: Cascade 220 Superwash Merino (100% superwash merino wool; 200 m/220 yd per 100 g):
1 skein for all sizes; about 48 (54, 60, 66)(72, 80, 87)(94, 102) m / 53 (59, 66, 73)(79, 88, 96)(103, 112) yd. Shown in 01 “Cream.”

Alternate Suggested Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash DK (100% superwash merino wool; 234 m/256 yd per 115 g). MC: “Cauldron” (dark blue). CCA: “Sapphire” (blue). CCB: “Natural” (cream).


Colourwork Needles: 4.5 mm/US #7 – 40 cm/16 inch and 80 cm/32 inch circular (or longer to comfortably accommodate stitches for your size), or size needed to obtain gauge.

Body Needles: 4 mm/US #6 – 80 cm/32 inch circular (or longer)—suggested to maintain gauge after switching from colourwork to stockinette.

Ribbing Needles: 3.75 mm/US #5 – 40 cm/16 inch and 80 cm/32 inch circular (or longer), and needles for small circumference in the round, for sleeves: traditional or flexible DPNs, 1 long or 2 short circulars.


5 stitch markers of any style, 2 removable stitch markers, stitch holders or waste yarn, tapestry needle.

Image description: white woman with blond hair in sunny backyard, wearing circular yoke colourwork sweater in shades of blue with white accents.

All images courtesy of Nicky Jensen.

Photo of Nicky Jensen

About Nicky Jensen

Nicky is an xray technologist who began designing and tech editing knitting patterns during her maternity leave in 2018. She has enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful people in the knitting design world from the comfort of her living room in Bowmanville, Ontario, where she lives with her husband, young daughter, and puppy.

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